Good old fashioned frugal favourites

 Hello Dear Reader,

I was asked yesterday, if I budget for household ‘things’. In truth, I budget for everything. We have four free, non charging bank accounts between us. We have a list of direct debits that go out monthly: mortgage, water, gas, electricity, unions, TV licence, broadband and phone. We save to pay some bills annually: car tax, car insurance, life insurance, boiler insurance and car break down cover – we set aside money for those every month and direct debit a set amount each into a savings account for this. We then set aside money for savings, we use 25% of our income for this, unless SHTF – we don’t touch it!!! If something breaks down, we get it repaired or DB repairs it. Our ‘household items’ such as curtains and bedding are homemade. Furniture is second hand and will never need replacing in our life time. We saved for major renovations as the doors were rotten and not secure and the kitchen was in need of a make over, even then we didn’t replace but revamped with new worktops and new tiles. Our son fitted them, the doors and windows with no charge for his services. When our Dyson broke down we freecycled for parts and got one with a burnt out motor and put the motor from ours into it.

Other, household items? Clothes? I buy some new once every other year and spend around £100. I buy a new pair of shoes a year which costs around £25. Towels and bedding come from car boot sales and charity shops. Quilts are homemade.

I have short, medium and long term saving plans and I also over pay my mortgage. I aim to pay off another 10% of the balance this year and hopefully sell up and downsize, with the intention of going to a micro mortgage or mortgage free home, as and when the economy allows. Until then, I throw every spare penny at the mortgage. Debt, is debt, is debt and I’m pissing away money every month on interest and the sooner I pay it off, the sooner I will have money to actually live on.

I hope that answered the question, feel free to ask what you like. If I feel like it, I’ll answer. Now back to the good old fashioned frugal favourites. If you are well fed, you will be a lot happier. I watched ’15 and counting’ last night. One poor mum, who was at the end of her tether was coping with her own children, her step children and her sister’s children. I wanted to get in the TV and give the poor girl a hand. We saw her shopping, I didn’t want to put her down, she was doing her best. But I really wanted to help her budget with homemade food and get her kids motivated to do something to help their mum. A quiche in the supermarket will cost about £2.50, it will be tiny, tasteless and full of junk, fat, salt and even sugar. Homemade is so much cheaper.

 A lovely treat is a homemade dessert. I have some retro jelly/pudding pots that I picked up at a jumble sale last year, 10p for 4! I stocked up last year on some Green’s creme caramel mix, so I can make 4 for 20p. I use UHT skimmed milk. Just follow the instructions on the packet. It’s simple enough, but the good old fashioned original ‘Tupperware’ creates the most incredible dessert.

 I always buy a couple of packs of ‘bacon pieces’ or ‘cooking bacon’ which has now gone up to 78p for 500g. I use it in meat loaf, faggots and of course, quiche. This quiche has leeks, bacon, 100g of grated cheese, some skimmed milk and six eggs. It was 12″ in diameter and will cut easily into ten portions. I always portion before I freeze, so we can just pull some out of the freezer for our lunch boxes.

Keep your eyes open for old Tupperware. It beats the current rubbish hands down. It lasts, it’s incredibly well made and some of it is really quirky. I have a wonderful beige and brown milk jug, with a snap on lid, which fits perfectly into the fridge door. Another jumble sale find for 10p!

How do you budget? I know some of you take out cash and have an envelope system. Have you got any good old fashioned frugal favourites, whether that’s food or a jumble sale find?

Over to you xx

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs

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17 thoughts on “Good old fashioned frugal favourites

  1. I adore those puddings! Serving any simple dessert in a fancy way really lifts it up a notch. I've been on the lookout for some of those Tupperware pots for AGES.
    I missed the programme you mentioned – but do feel so sorry for young Mums who have missed out on the basics of making quiche etc.
    Froogs – I truly admire your honesty about how you handle your finances, and I just want to say that I am sure that LOTS of readers are really helped by your wise counsel [and I love an excuse to use 'wise counsel' in a comment]

    blessings xx

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  2. I love old tupperware. I pick it up anywhere I can. I dont send it with anyone for lunches though because I dont want them losing it

    I love your blog by the way

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  3. I own some of those pudding pots too, my MIL is a huge fan of Tupperware and she gave me a lot of hers from the 70's when she bought new ones during the 90'… I still have all of them almost 20 year later! Those are really sturdy !

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  4. I love your blog and particularly your recipes for frugal food – I've made lots of them – you are so imaginative – and the pics are a real help – thank you for all your trouble – much appreciated

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  5. Those puds look fantastic when popped out of tupperware containers.

    I make something similar but until I drop lucky at a car boot or charity shop I'll carry on making mine in my ordinary little ramekins, they'll taste as good just not look as pretty 😦

    I admire your honesty about your finances, it really helps other folk that you are willing to share so much. I hope it's appreciated.

    Sue xx

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  6. I'm pretty sure my mother used to have tupperware parties when I was a child. She still had it all years later. I think domestic science should be compulsory for all school children.A lot of parents now, can't be bothered to cook a proper meal at home just chicken nuggets and chips and the like, so the children don't know how to feed their families good food when they become parents themselves.

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  7. wonderful post. Me i also use empty marg tubs or the like fro freezing food they do a reasonable job and are easily replace. I also use marg tubs cut down into pannels and the strips cut into a point fro plant lables works a treat and for ties I use old tights.
    another tip i picked up the other day was if you spray your brolly with cheep hairspar it renews it waterproofing.
    hope all is well with you
    rachel plym.

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  8. I bought some Tupperware beakers just before my son was born. There were 4, one has gone missing over the years, but his daughters love to use the cups that Daddy had. Daddy will be 30 this year! They weren't cheap at the time, but I reckon I've had value for money out of them.

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  9. I'm so glad you share your frugalness in your finances because I'm always looking for ways to cut out or trim down expenses. After I deduct all expenses I know I'll have every month, I write a check, only putting in a dollar amount, and put it in a place in the house that only my husband and I know exists. This is “emergency” money and if I don't see that amount still in the checkbook, I won't spend it. I also have deducted automatically every month into a savings account online a specific amount for taxes, car insurance and house insurance that comes due every March. I don't use a CC unless it's absolutely necessary. If I need to buy something, like I had to replace my bread machine that quit after 9 years, I shop online for reviews of products, etc. and the best price. If I need to order an item, I see how much shipping is going to be. Sometimes, if I wait, the shipping will be free. I clip coupons for groceries. I try to save as much as possible, but sometimes there's things that go on sale AFTER I've bought it…I hate when that happens 🙂

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  10. Dear Froogs,

    Thank you for your description of your budgeting. I did not intend to be intrusive but I am grateful for your detailed reply.

    You clearly have a lovely home and if I may say, appear to keep it up to scratch. Through careful ways, you enjoy more luxuries than most people who are not consciously frugal, such as home cooked food, a fine hearth to sit by, air dried laundry and hand made furnishings.

    What I wanted to ask was whether you had an annual figure in mind to keep such a house going and a couple well fed etc. I don't mean mortgage payments, just running the house and the housekeeping.

    With the current debate on welfare, I would be interested in your view on what a well run home should or could actually cost.

    We are pretty careful with utilities, keep an eye out for wood, grow a bit of veg do diy and for us the Council Tax is the biggest outgoing but there is not much you can do about that.

    I don't think a state pensioner would have much left out of their £5k. However, Shirley Goode, this week, said she managed easily on their 2 state pensions.

    On housekeeping, I think back to my mother's attitude. It is a skill and potentially a very satisfying one. Cooking was her particular pride, a smart house was never a realistic goal with 4 kids running through it, but it was a lovely home. She and her friends would think of someone over-spending as just being idiotic or affected. How times have changed!

    On another topic, we are watchful of hot water but in a different way. On the top of our wood burner, we keep an old copper kettle. Not just as an ornament but for topping up tea etc! There are also an assortment of rocks which when wrapped in a towel (they can get up to 200 degrees C) make a good alternative to a hot water bottle.

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  11. Oh how I wish I had your cooking and baking skills. You would cringe at the amount of leftovers I throw out because I cannot cook from scratch.

    You are such an inspiration.

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  12. My best boot fair find was a food slicer. It is hand cranked and the parts are all wood or metal so if it should ever fall apart, it will just get a new piece of wood.
    It makes it easy to cut home made bread and the width of slice is adjustable so it can slice meats too.

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  13. Thanks for the inspirations. After seeing this picture yesterday I made a big bowl of coleslaw from stuff I had in my fridge.
    By the way – how did the Dukan diet go?
    I read some of your old posts and noticed you tried it out.
    I am thinking of giving it a go.

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